Is southern Kentucky an appropriate climate for a crape myrtle tree? When we visit more southern states, I love the look of these trees. We have a spot in our back yard near our house that I would like to place one. I was thinking about a Pink Velour.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Tim: When we think of crape myrtle, we automatically think of a southern planting. These woody plants are hardy in USDA gardening zones 6-9. We can successfully grow them here in the Louisville area, so yes you can plant them in southern Kentucky. It is possible that if we have an unusually cold winter they could die back to the ground, but will come back from the roots the following spring. We have a beautiful white bloomer (‘Acoma’) that is close to 10 years old and has never had any problems. There are a few factors to take into consideration before planting. We want to give these plants enough time to become established before the winter arrives, so it is best to plant them in early spring or early fall in our zone. Choose your planting site where the crape myrtle will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Otherwise, it will not bloom well and will be more susceptible to insects or disease problems. There are many cultivars to choose from, including different blooming colors, growth habits, and mature sizes, which range from 3-25 feet. They can be grown as either single-trunked or multi-stemmed that produce colorful exfoliating bark as they mature. Lagerstroemia indica ‘Pink Velour’ will reach 10-15 feet tall and 8-10 feet wide. This cultivar is known for being cold-hardy and resistant to powdery mildew.